Two Wrens for the Gala
The Moseley Railway Trust is pleased to confirm two more visiting locomotives for the 2017 railway gala at the Apedale Valley Light Railway.
Continuing the theme of the event – which is the Kerr, Stuart locomotive company of Stoke-on-Trent – is Kerr, Stuart 3128. This is one of the iconic “Wren” class locomotives. This locomotive has had a particularly interesting career, including crossing the Atlantic four times! It was built in 1918 for a factory at Avonmouth which supplied Mustard Gas to the British forces fighting in the First World War; after the end of hostilities, the factory became the National Smelting Company producing zinc products. In 1959, the loco was exported for preservation to Canada. The loco was returned to the UK in 2013 and was restored at the Statfold Barn Railway to full operating condition. It was returned to its owner in Canada; tragically, problems in Canada prevented its operation, and it returned to Statfold in 2016.
The visit to Apedale will be the first time that this locomotive has operated away from its Statfold base; the Trust wishes to thank Graham Lee, Henry Noon and the Statfold team for allowing the locomotive to attend the event.
The second locomotive is also a Wren – but a much more recent incarnation. The modern successor to the old Kerr, Stuart company is the Hunslet Engine Company, based at Statfold Barn Their number 3905 of 2005 is named “Jennie” and is now based at the Amerton Railway, near Stafford. Owned by the Gully family, the locomotive has previously visited a number of UK narrow gauge railways, but will be a first-time visitor to Apedale. The Trust is grateful to the Gully family for facilitating the loan of this fascinating locomotive.
Phil Robinson, Moseley Railway Trust Chairman said “Having two Wren class locomotives on site at Apedale will be really exciting. This is the design of locomotive which most people associate with Kerr, Stuart. We think that having five Kerr, Stuart designed locomotives in operation is a record in preservation. It will be fascinating to compare two locos which are very similar in design, yet are 87 years apart in age. This must surely be another record – the longest production run of a product design!”
The “Stanhope Steam Gala” will be held on May 13 and 14. Admission will be £6 adults, £3 children.
More details of the Trust and the Apedale valley Light Railway can be found on Facebook or on the website here.
Posted by Peter Bowyer on 21 March 2017